San Giovanni in Venere is a beautiful monastic complex located on the outskirts of fossacesia paese. There's a church and an annex monastery - the name comes from a temple dedicated to Venere (venus) that once stood where the complex is. Some of the stones in which the temple was built were used to build the church's crypt.
The complex became an officla monastery in 1015 - but parts of the construction are much older. it is possible to visit the church at any time, and its masterpiece is supposed to be a romanic altar... The complex, as I'm writing, has just risen to Italian fame, thanks to the visit of a notorious art expert (which, for shame, I won't name) who fell in love with it - at 1 AM. He started knocking at the door, and was disappointed that no one opened it. he had to return the following day... just like any other visitor.
The trabocco is a unique fishing house typical of this coastal area of Abruzzo - you can find it only here and nowhere else... almost. Strangely I saw some similar though simpler structures in Vietnam. Go figure.
Fishermen in the past used to fish from those houses... they are normally on stils and located some metres from the shore, and you can reach them via a makeshift boardwalk. The fishing lines come striht out of this house and are made of iron - so it's a bit like a fishing machine.
You can find a fine example in Fossacesia marina... along the coast, not far from the old station
In Fossacesia paese every summer night is like Christmas - because of the garish lights... Horrible light, I'm afriad. However the municipality is a very active one, and nearly every night in summer there are interesting and free events going on: art exhibitions, country fairs with traditional food (try the arrosticini), fashion shows, theatre and concerts.
Some concerts are really first class.. in august 2007, aong others, there was a free one of the great italian singer and musician Angelo Branduardi. A wonderful concert and the acustic was pretty good, too. You can learn about him on his website - which is translated in many languages, including English.
Dress Code: Casual, definitely.
The best - and easiest sports activity in Fossacesia is swimming... the beach is long and gorgeously white... it's not a sandy beach, though... large pebbles all over - and the water is clean and transparent. In some places it goes down very deep after 2 metres, so it's suitable only for good swimmers - in other places, especially near the restaurant "lu trabocche", it's protected by a man-made reef, and the water is shallower. This is the perfect place to bring your family.
The other good point of this beach is that 95% of it is a free beach.
Equipment: Bring some reef shoes to go in the water - the pebbles are kind of painful to walk on.
Fossacesia is located in Southeastern Abruzzo and it's made up of two distinct towns: Fossacesia Paese, high on a hilltop left of the Sangro river, and Fossacesia Marina, on the sea: in the old times Fossacesia was called Fossa Coeca (" the blind ditch").
Fondest memory: Every summer I spend some time in Fossacesia Marina, in my husband's flat. Althought the settlement is very old, nothing is left to bear witness to it - Fossacesia Marina is a low-key seaside town frequented more by locals (meaning people from Abruzzo) than by tourists. The sea's nice and clear, and the town's main beach is a pebble beach. However, if you are prepared to walk for a few kilometres, there's a delightful sandy beach - very uncrowded - and with really calm waters... basically it's a huge natural swimming pool